Trainer James Cummings is hoping the addition of blinkers will help Osborne Bulls charge towards his maiden Group 1 win in Saturday’s $800,000 Doomben 10,000 (1200m) at Doomben.
Osborne Bulls has been a Group 1 runner up at his last four starts over the 2019 Melbourne and Sydney Autumn Carnivals and despite a gruelling campaign, Cummings is confident the five year old still has plenty of strength in his legs.
“He’s shown there’s still enough juice left in the orange to be tackling another G1 target, which on paper looks to be the most winnable of the four he’s run in this campaign,” Cummings said.
“Each time he’s met very good horses and, on the day, one of them has bobbed up to run a huge race and beat him.”
“What hurts, though, is that along the way he’s beaten all the horses who have beaten him.”
Osborne Bulls kicked off his Autumn Group 1 campaign with two seconds down the Flemington straight in the $750,000 Black Caviar Lightning (1000m) and in the $1.25m Seppelt Newmarket Handicap (1200m).
Cummings then directed his attention to Sydney where Osborne Bulls found the runner’s up stall twice at Randwick in the Group 1 $2.5m Aquis T J Smith Stakes (1200m) and in the Group 1 $600,000 Schweppes All Aged Stakes (1400m).
Osborne Bulls has drawn barrier four in the thirteen horse Doomben 10,000 field with high profile jockey Kerrin McEvoy having his first race day ride on the Group 1 bridesmaid.
Osborne Bulls racing pattern sees him settle well back in the field and he inevitably gives away a decent start to the pacesetters, but with the addition of the blinkers, McEvoy might be able to keep the front runners in his sights.
The Chris Waller trained speedster Nature Strip will jump from gate eleven but that won’t be a problem as jockey James McDonald will let the four year old cross the field and stride to the front as he did when the pair combined for an all the way win in the Group 1 $700,000 OOH!Media Galaxy (1100m) at Rosehill on March 23.
Nature Strip has one win at 1200m in weaker company but that distance at Group 1 level in the Doomben 10,000 could be his greatest hurdle while Osbourne Bulls will be eating up the ground over the final 100m.
Nature Strip has had plenty of solid support at the short odds and is the $2 favourite for the Doomben 10,000 at Ladbrokes.com.au while Osborne Bulls at $3.30 is the only other runner under the $10 mark.